Recipe by Carl Schroeder, executive chef, Market Restaurant
I have a sports background. I played football and ran track in college. I liked the physical aspect of work, but I knew that being a personal trainer wasn’t going to do it for me. I like restaurants. They make sense to me because people have to eat. And I knew if I put my mind to it, I could make food better than the next guy, so I went down that path. By knowing how to create good food, you have something to sell. But you are only as good as the last plate you put out. You feel the pressure every day. And if you are a micromanager such as myself, you don’t get much sleep.
Growing up in La Jolla, I spent all summer fishing in the ocean and cooking what I caught. I remember Shake N Baking the fish I caught and it was great. I think I was nine. I ate that fish all summer long. In the winter I hunted on Palomar Mountain and on the border for quail. Gradually, I started looking in cookbooks and using blackening spices. When I was about 12, I bought a smoker from Big Five. I think in another life, I was probably a hunter and gatherer. I love it that much.
I experiment a lot. I always want to expand my knowledge so I read a ton of books. I must have hundreds of cookbooks. After a while, I can just read a recipe and do it in my head. So, I have my own style of cuisine. I was French-trained but I experiment with Latin, Asian, and Greek dishes. It’s fun and constantly evolving.
Sundays are my day off. That’s my big party day. Sometimes I cook, but usually I ask my boys (ages 8 and 12) what they want. I encourage them to cook, but my youngest only eats food with cheese on top. Sometimes we do dessert Iron Chef style. We go to the store and they run off and pick the ingredients. When we get home, I just sit on a barstool and watch, as long as they don’t do anything disastrous. I don’t know that there’s a name for what they make.
One time, Eric mixed cream, eggs, cocoa powder, flour, and chocolate chunks. He cooked it in a sauté pan and it was sort of a leavened pancake gooey kind of thing. I was just happy that when I ate it I didn’t get sick.
When we do the Iron Chef thing it’s always a tie between the boys. I try to encourage them. They hate that it’s always a tie, but that’s how it is when you’re a dad.
- 8 cups chilled vegetable stock
- 2 cups roughly chopped avocados (about 2 medium)
- 4 cups roughly chopped, peeled cucumbers (about 4 medium)
- salt, to taste
- 4 cups heirloom cherry tomatoes, chopped
- ½ cup finely diced red pepper (for garnish)
- ½ cup small-dice avocados (for garnish)
- lemon-infused oil or olive oil (for seasoning)
HOW TO DO IT
Place vegetable stock, avocados, and cucumbers in blender or food processor. Pulse until pureed. Run the puree through a fine sieve into a large bowl. This will remove any remaining pulp or seeds. Season with salt to taste. Put the soup in the refrigerator for at least an hour to chill before serving.
Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with tomatoes, pepper, avocados, and a few drops of lemon-infused or olive oil. The tomatoes and vegetables may sink into the bottom of the bowl.